Our Irresistible New Chocolate Liqueurs – and What to Do With Them
22 Sep 2020
Following the epic success of our tipsy chocolates and cacao-centred liqueurs, we’ve created a whole new collection of chocolate liqueurs.
Quite simply, ‘chocolate liqueur’ describes liqueur that tastes like chocolate — shocking, we know. But jokes aside, whoever thought to combine the delights of an alcoholic base with the blissful indulgence of chocolate was onto a winner. This is one of the most unapologetically luxurious flavour combinations in culinary history.
Here’s a bit about our latest liqueurs and how to best use them.
What Is Chocolate Liqueur?
A chocolate liqueur takes a distilled spirit such as whiskey or vodka and adds chocolate along with some additional flavours such as orange or mint to give it an essence of that ‘special something’.
We tend to view chocolate liqueurs as being a rather modern invention, with vivid memories of being smugly served chocolate martinis by our hosts at noughties dinner parties. However, the history of chocolate liqueur goes way back, showing this tipple has truly stood the test of time.
Back in 1994, numerous chocolate brands hop on the chocolate liqueur train, bringing their own products to the market in a bid to capitalise on the 1990’s ‘chocolate craze.’
However, recipes have been found for this chocolate concoction in cookbooks throughout history — from a French pharmacy manual in 1803 to an 1825 American cookbook archived in South Carolina. Some sources even suggest that ‘chocolat en liqueur’ was produced and sold in France as early as 1666 and we know that in 18th-century New England a ‘chocolate wine’ was a much-loved drink.
Nassim Taleb, one of the most poignant thinkers of our time, observes that the ultimate definer of everything is time, refusing to drink anything less than a thousand years old. Whilst we can’t say that chocolate liqueur has been around this long — its two key ingredients certainly have been not just in existence, but lauded, worshipped, and even fought over since time immemorial. That’s enough evidence of greatness for us.
There are three general types of chocolate liqueur that you should know about: your standard chocolate liqueur — a strong, sweet alcoholic drink using distilled spirits, flavoured with chocolate but without any cream, chocolate cream liqueur — adding dairy to the blend, and creme de cacao — made from cacao beans instead of chocolate or cacao, and which ironically, doesn’t contain any cream, with the ‘creme’ referring instead to the drink’s creamy texture.
Our New Chocolate Liqueur Flavours
If you’re yet to try a chocolate liqueur, then with our new chocolate liqueur flavours you’re certainly in for an exquisite experience.
We’re proud to be the only chocolatier to run two bars — on our Saint Lucian cacao plantation and at our restaurant in London’s Borough Market — giving the floor to our chocolatey creations.
These ventures have allowed us to do some oh-so-important market research and to see what really makes your taste-buds dance. The result? Our new chocolate liqueur collection, bringing you our most coveted cacao elixirs.
Last year we launched our Mint Chocolat Cream Liqueur as an after-dinner mint and drinkable digestif to great success. We were so delighted with the response that we headed straight back into the kitchen to see what else we could conjure up. Let’s just say — if we were you, we’d start clearing some space in the liqueur cabinet.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Liqueur
When creating a liqueur to really hit that sweet spot, we thought the best thing to do was melt in a healthy dose of salted caramel — the confectionery product (akin to dulce de leche or ‘candy made of milk’) that has well and truly turned into the flavour combination of the moment.
We created this beauty to be served over ice and nursed into the night — we can’t wait for you to try it.
Salted Caramel & Clementine Chocolate Cream Liqueur
If you thought salted caramel on its own sounded divine, you might want to get your hands on our Salted Caramel & Clementine Chocolate Cream Liqueur. The sweet and salty notes of salted caramel blend perfectly with the zesty citrus notes of clementine. Together they fuse in harmony, lifting our liqueur to a level where it sings, even to the choosiest of palates.
The old cliché ‘when you know you know’ pretty much sums up our love for this one.
Espresso Martini Chocolate Cream Liqueur
The espresso martini is best enjoyed sipped slowly, so it’s important to use high quality, ethically produced ingredients.
This liqueur is one for those who like their java, day or night. It’s made with Hotel Chocolat’s white chocolate and velvetised with vodka, espresso, and cream for that extra smooth creamy texture.
The espresso martini relies on a delicate balance of sweet and bitter, so we’ve made sure our liqueur is free from artificial additives (like all our products) to ensure the best taste.
What Can You Use Chocolate Liqueur for?
People are often surprised at the versatility of chocolate liqueur, but really, as a melody of two historically fundamental (yet indulgent) bases, it’s only logical that what started as a delicacy has managed to charm its way into the cupboards and pantries of in-the-know cocktail connoisseurs.
A quick search on the internet will bring up numerous cocktail recipes, but here are a few that we think are worth a try if you’re new to experimenting with chocolate liqueur. These should taste fantastic with any of our liqueur flavours, so feel free to add tweaks and twists to your liking.
Tradition martinis have been popular since the 1920s, but chocolate martinis have their own rather glamorous story of ascent.
It all began in 1955 when iconic Hollywood film stars Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor were thrown together during the making of the film Giant in Marfa, Texas. Little did they know that one inspired evening together would go down in history. Both of these talented actors were great fans of martinis, so on one giddy night, they decided to mix chocolate syrup and chocolate liqueur into their martinis — just like that, the infamous chocolate martini was born.
To make two glasses of this classic choice of tipple, you’ll need:
- 115 ml your choice of Hotel Chocolat chocolate cream liqueur
- 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup (and a tad more for drizzling)
- 115 ml Baileys
- 115 ml vodka
- Shaved chocolate for sprinkling
Dip the rims of your martini glasses in the chocolate syrup and dribble some more syrup into each glass. Shake up your chocolate liqueur, Baileys, and vodka of choice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice until the mixture is chilled. Divide evenly between each glass and top with shaved chocolate as desired.
For some extra indulgence, read on.
Salted Caramel Mudslide
When it comes to cocktails, what’s stopping you from making a proper all-bells-and-whistles dessert out of it? If you’re looking for the perfect pièce de résistance to your dinner party — nothing screams indulgence quite like this Salted Caramel Mudslide Cocktail. You can thank us later. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 60ml Hotel Chocolate Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Liqueur
- 60ml vodka
- 60ml Irish cream liqueur
- 100ml double cream
- 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
Chill two tumblers in your fridge overnight (or throw them in the freezer if you’re in a rush). Dip the rim of the glasses in the chocolate syrup and allow it to drip down the sides. Fill your cocktail shaker with ice, then pour in your Irish cream liqueur, vodka, Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream liqueur, and double cream. Shake thoroughly and pour it into your tumblers. Best served smugly.
Cocktails — sorted.
At Hotel Chocolat we firmly believe the delights of chocolate liqueur shouldn’t be limited to just drinks — what a waste! Oh no no, chocolate liqueur can actually be used to add the perfect kick to most chocolate-based desserts. Here are a few we think you’ll love.
- 125ml your choice of Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Cream Liqueur (we think the Salted Caramel & Clementine works perfectly)
- 150g self-raising flour
- 240g brown sugar
- 50g Hotel Chocolat Classic Hot Chocolate 70%
- 125ml milk
- 40g melted butter
- 1 egg (whisked)
- 435ml boiling water
- Vanilla ice-cream to serve
First, preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease eight small oven-proof dishes and place them on your oven tray. Place half the sugar and half the hot chocolate to the side. Add the flour, the rest of the sugar and hot chocolate, the milk, butter, and egg into a mixing bowl and combine. Pour the mixture evenly into each dish.
Sift the remaining sugar and hot chocolate over each dish. Also, pour the boiling water and chocolate cream liqueur evenly over the dishes.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until you see cake tops forming. Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving warm with vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate Espresso Mousse
- 200g Hotel Chocolat chocolate of your choice (milk or dark)
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 tbsp. Hotel Chocolat Espresso Martini Chocolate Cream Liqueur
- 300 ml thickened cream
- Grated chocolate for serving
Place a heat-resistant bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water without the base touching the water. Break your chocolate into the bowl. Stir for two minutes until melted and remove from the heat.
Blend in the egg yolks and chocolate liqueur and leave to cool. Then, in a large bowl, whip the cream. When you see soft peaks form it is ready to combine with the chocolate mixture.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until well combined.
You can then choose to spoon the mixture into individual dishes (for a sophisticated touch) or a larger dish if this is easier. Cover the mousse and let it chill overnight until it is firm. The chilling is the most important part, so make sure you plan in advance.
Serve with a sprinkle of grated chocolate.
This coffee-dessert ‘two in one’ serves as an impressive twist on the post-dinner digestif that’s bound to impress your guests.
Should You Keep Your Chocolate Liqueur in the Fridge?
We recommend that you keep your liqueurs in a cool dry place away from strong odours. This helps to preserve the perfectly balanced taste of your liqueur and avoids disappointment when you go to make your next glass.
Your unopened chocolate liqueur will generally remain in good quality for two years, although it can last longer than this. It is also important that you don’t expose the liqueur to heat or light during storage — this is a good rule of thumb for all alcohols. If your bottle develops a strange odour, flavour, or discolouration, it may have spoiled and should be discarded.
You can also keep your bottle in the fridge once opened if you wish, but this is up to you.
Just remember to shake before use to redistribute any settled contents.
Learn more about chocolate and find inspiration by checking out our other blog articles.